Wednesday, January 26, 2011


When my students struggle to come up with independent ideas I ask them to grab a newspaper and read, write down comments about anything that grabs their attention. Many of my students have created great projects using this method. This particular piece is one such project. Newspaper was included in the project and large newspaper print was used for added interest. This particular piece is full of symbolism and it is always interesting to hear the opinions of my students when it comes to world events. This particular student has been my student for four years now and it has been a great pleasure to see him grow and mature. I remember a time when I couldn't get him to take out a pencil, he has created some of my favorite pieces these past few months, including one of the virgin drawings from a previous post. A few more months left, lets see what else he does.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Spray Painted Faces

My art 2 students are just about done with the spray painted project. I'm glad, I'm ready to move on to papier mache. After creating a 24"x18" stencil they spray painted onto three different backgrounds. The white paper is the test spray, the others are treated papers. So far I have only photographed the test papers and a few treated papers.
The kids enjoyed this project over all, there were a few that struggled in the beginning. They had a hard time figuring out what to cut, but once they started it became clear to them.

As soon as the others are done I will post pics.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Here are the Finals

The first semester is finally over. I graded all of the final exams and the kids did good for the most part. They had to write about and illustrate four projects or techniques that they did in the first semester. The exam took much longer than expected but it worked out great.
I am now starting color and colored pencils for the second semester. The second semester always seems the longest to me, but the count down has begun, well, at least in my head it has. I have several new students this semester, kids that did not pass the second part of art in previous years or new students to the school that have never taken art before. It is such a diservice to the kids that are given the second half of art first, but as much as we tell the counselors, they just don't get it.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Losses and Gains

I received the news early today, a darling, giving lady who I consider a friend passed away. She was an amazing stained glass artist and teacher. She gave classes at the community college and by doing so spread her love of the medium to others. I took one of her classes which is how I met her, I wanted to improve on my skills so that I could apply it to my jewelry. I was thinking about her this weekend, I was thinking of taking another class....
As I was sitting in my classroom pondering life a smiling head peeked its head in. Roger!! A student of mine that graduated a year ago. This young man is an exceptional talent and received a scholarship to study art in San Francisco. He should have left since last fall but his mother did not want to see him go and so he postponed his semester to try and calm his mother's fears. He came to say good-bye to me, he leaves for San Francisco in the morning. This is good news, a bright future for this young man.
As you can imagine I have mixed feelings today. On the one hand I am saddened by the loss of Noni and happy for the future of my former student.
Life is funny that way, isn't it?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Finals Today

I think I came up with something interesting for their finals. I decided they would need extra time to complete their exams so I started everyone on their tests today. I want to make sure they have extra time to complete it. I will post pictures once they are done. There's nothing like the quiet of a test day.
I've been quite fortunate this year (knock on wood), the discipline problems have been minimal and those that were more than a minimal discipline problem have now been suspended or left to other schools.
On the average I have more good kids than not, well, don't we all? Why is it then that all it takes is one kid with problems to bring you down? All it takes is one to change the environment of the classroom.
I tend to start the school year very strict, I do not allow for much deviance, then I slowly start to ease off. By doing this I set the tone of the classroom.
It works for me, what works for you? How do you handle discipline issues?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Finals, any ideas?

I always struggle to come up with a new, challenging final exam. I don't know about you, but I like to change my exams every year, just to keep the job "fresh". I also want the test to be interesting and challenging to my students. The end result should look like a work of art. In my district writing has to be included in our exams, which I believe is a great idea, this allows students the opportunity to explain their message both visually and written. I have to cover everything that has been done since the beginning. Line, shading, design, collage, graffitti, and so much more. I suppose I can let them choose a topic from the projects that have been done in class.
My advanced class has had different topics this first semester, I basically have to come up with three different final exams.
I've already reviewed the projects with the kids, I just have to come up with the final format.
I don't want to dig up an old exam, any ideas?
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